Eton Brass Explosion run by Onyx Brass - Schools Together
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Eton Brass Explosion run by Onyx Brass

In January 2020, the Head of Brass at Eton College and his band Onyx Brass hosted a day’s Brass workshop for 90 Year 7, 8, & 9 students from 9 different schools. Onyx Brass led the pupils in improving their musical skills and learnt three new songs, culminating in an accomplished, energetic performance for their parents.

In May 2020, during the COVID lockdown, Onyx Brass produced a set of play-along videos and accompanying sheet music for primary school brass players to practice their instruments at home.

Aims

When at primary school pupils who play brass instruments do not often get the opportunity to play with lots of other brass players. Onyx Brass wanted to bring these pupils together to be part of an exciting day of fun with music focussing especially on brass.

Parents were invited to attend the performance at the end of the day to hear what their children had learned. The aim is to inspire the parents too, helping them to keep encouraging their child’s musical development.

The resources sent to primary schools during the COVID lockdown hoped to remind young brass players to pick up their instruments at home to practice their skills and aimed to remind them of that feeling of the community playing music brings.

Background

The Head of Brass at Eton College and his band Onyx Brass work with a range of people inspiring them to take up playing brass. They wanted to create an opportunity for primary school age brass players to come together from different schools to play a new piece of music written for Onyx Brass, especially for beginner level brass. 

Resources

The talented musicians from Onyx Brass ran with workshops to a very high standard and kept all the children engaged. Teachers from each school helped individual students who needed extra support. Eton’s Partnerships Administrator coordinated the event and maintained the smooth running of the day.

The workshops and performance were hosted at Eton College’s Music School. Snakes and drinks were provided for the schools during break times. For the final performance, an Etonian joined to play the drums.

 

Impact

At the end of the day, many parents and teachers noted how impressed they were with the pupils’ performance. The schools later send feedback to say how much the children had enjoyed the event.

“When our children returned it was fantastic to hear of the wonderful welcome they received and the exciting day they had with you. Something they will never forget!” - Alan Went, Headteacher

“The children enjoyed being part of such a big Brass Band, it was such an exciting experience for them all.  Onyx Brass are fabulous teachers and arrangers, the pace of the day and the level of musicianship required were judged perfectly and delivered with a great sense of fun and teamwork.  It made our children feel very proud to be part of the brass family.”  - Susannah Nettleton, Music Specialist.

Pupil Involvement

For the final performance, an Etonian joined to play the drums.

Frequency

This is an annual event.

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